Attributes of effective mentoring relationships of female administrators in three Tennessee school districts

Melonye Bartlett Lowe, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the attributes contributing to an effective mentoring relationship for female administrators. This research was important because mentoring was identified as essential for career success for women. Traditionally mentoring was a concept based on male career patterns. The circumstances all women faced in professional academic careers were compounded for some women because of factors such as race, ethnicity, class, and age. There was a lack of research on the mentoring relationships of female administrators. One hundred six female administrators provided data via questionnaires for this study. Data were analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics. The methods used were frequency distributions, unpaired t-tests, and Mann-Whitney non parametric U-tests. The study showed that just over half of the female administrators had mentors. The data revealed that having a female mentor was important to them and that having a female mentor made the mentoring relationship more effective. The study indicated that ethnicity of the mentor was not significant. The data showed that informal mentoring relationships were considered more effective than those in formal mentoring programs. It was suggested that school districts, universities, and state departments of education develop programs for women new to administration to provide opportunities for mentoring relationships. Educational organizations should be proactive in mentoring women of minority status in order to retain them in administrative positions.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Melonye Bartlett Lowe, "Attributes of effective mentoring relationships of female administrators in three Tennessee school districts" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3116153.